By BEN TODD and PAUL REVOIR
Salsa: Nancy Dell'Olio with dance partner Anton Du Beke (left) and on the judges' table (right)
Given her fiery reputation, it perhaps wasn’t the most sensible thing to say.
Unsurprisingly, Nancy Dell’Olio took great exception to being described by Bruno Tonioli as looking as though she had 'inhaled two gallons of Veuve Clicquot' during her latest Strictly performance.
She was so furious that she told friends she was considering legal action against the judge.
Elegant: Nancy and Anton dance the waltz in an earlier episode. She is said to have told friends she was 'furious' over Bruno's comments
Miss Dell’Olio, 50, claimed that although her penchant for champagne is well known, she did not drink at all before the live broadcast.
And she insisted she does not keep ten to 15 bottles in her dressing room at any one time, as has been rumoured.
Jibe: Bruno's comments were tongue in cheek and not meant to cause offence, a BBC spokesman said
Instead, she said a case of champagne in her room was for stylists and other production staff, to show her gratitude.
Miss Dell’Olio performed at the weekend despite having a torn ligament in her knee. She received the lowest score from the judges, but viewers kept her in the show at the expense of Edwina Currie.
'To then have Bruno accuse her of being drunk, she found very upsetting. She has considered legal action – but everyone’s been calming her down.'
It was believed last night that the American-Italian had been persuaded against suing.
A BBC spokesman said: 'The judges always look to give constructive criticism to all of our dancers and this is often delivered with humour, given that Strictly is an entertainment show. Bruno’s comments were tongue in cheek and not meant to cause offence.'
Nancy Dell'Olio and Anton Du Beke - Salsa -Strictly Come Dancing 2011
Nancy Dell'Olio and Anton du Beke - Slow Waltz - Strictly Come Dancing 2011
Strictly Come Dancing 2011 - Professional Cha Cha Cha (Edge if Glory)